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Tuesday, 22 November 2011


Being a complete and utter panster I never know how a book is going to pan out. I always start with the kernel of an idea and expand from that. For example, my NV entry arose when I was daydreaming in the kitchen whilst cooking dinner. An image came into my head of a nutty Irish woman sitting on a bench under a plum tree being asked what had brought her to Tuscany; and the woman theatrically replying that she was suffering from a broken heart. From that tiny kernel the whole book sprung. I knew the Irish woman (who I called Meghan), was funny and outspoken but it was not until I was half-way through writing it that her real inner conflict came to the fore. And that is what I call my Eureka Moment.
Today, I had my Eureka Moment with my current WIP and, for me, it is such a fantastic feeling. This story also started with a kernel - a woman handcuffing herself to a man's desk. I am just over 20,000 words in, the story is flowing beautifully (at least in my head ha ha ha) and I have felt comfortable knowing exactly who my heroine is and what her inner conflict is (she revealed herself early on). But, even though I knew what kind of a man my hero is today, I have been waiting for him to reveal his backstory to me, the story that made him the man he is today. I got 1,500 words done this afternoon and then, just minutes before I had to collect the boys from school, my hero's past came to me in a flash, along with how this affects his and the heroines future.
And now I cannot wait to sign off from this blog and plough on with the story confident that all the tools are there for me to get happily to the end without tearing my hair out waiting for the Eureka Moment to come. For me the, the next best bit is doing the second draft and making sure that everything I now know about my characters shines through for the reader. But I will save that for another post.
Take care all xxx

Sunday, 13 November 2011

Death by Revision

I did debate leaving a post last Monday when I got an email from the editor with my full MS but to be honest I was far too excited to do anything but to tweet and leave a brief message on the eHarlequin site - I wanted to get stuck right in! And now, six days later, the revisions have been sent.

The email was wonderful. The best part said: "You've done a great job with these and they've worked really well in making your story stronger - fantastic!". Oh yes, I was euphoric, head in the clouds, the lot.

But there was also three main points (tweaks as she called them) that she thought I needed to tackle to make the story even stronger still. On the face of it none of the tweaks were major - for example one of them was for me to "feel free to keep her (the heroine) strong and sassy throughout". There were also three further minor points she thought needed clarifying a bit further.

So why Death by Revisions? I printed my MS off and sat down with a pen and notepad to go through the whole lot line-by-line. I then made my revisions and printed it off again. And sat down with a pen and notepad to go through it line-by-line. And then I made the further revisions... By this point I was starting to panic. The editor had asked if I could get the revisions done by the "beginning of next week" and -I had faithfully promised they would be in her inbox by the time she got to the office Monday morning (tomorrow).

I truly felt - and still do feel - that I have done the best job I can. But... there is a big siren ringing out that maybe the changes I have made are not strong enough and that she is going to read it and throw it out of the nearest in window in disgust.

But now it is too late. I have hit the send button and my fate is now out of my hands. All I know for certain is that doing the revisions felt wonderful and that no matter what doubts I have now, I wouldn't swap this feeling for anything.